Thursday, October 22, 2009

"We are here" .... Lucerne Longings

Have you ever been on a holiday when you had the sinking feeling that things were not going right. Well we were quite low after Interpatel, sorry Interlaken, and trooped wearily into Lucerne.

But should have known things would change when we saw the Starbucks outside our hotel which was outside the station. Sat there as our room was getting ready and wondered what shocks Lucerene would hold for us.

Actually I should have got a hint when I saw the lovely Gothic railway station that we were in for a picturesque treat. This was the city of the awe inspiring Lion Monument after all.

Our luck began to change once we stepped into our hotel, The Walsdtatterhof. A faux Gothic exterior with bright, chirpy red foyer, modern rooms just as Lonely Planet promised. The room with its arty screen by the bed, classy desk, lace curtains, its spaciousness, neat and modern, glass bathroom (after the stink and stains after our last hotel) and petite veranda were just what we needed after the horrible City Oberland Hotel of Interlaken. We felt so good that we rarely felt the chill outside.

The best part of the hotel was the ever smiling staff. From the diffident Frank who would allow me some precious free Internet time as I blogged furiously to the lovely Ricky who patiently and passionately answered our questions on chocolate and cheese. She would whip out a map and start with a loud and sonorous "we are here" and proceeded to give us directions to the right cheese shop (Has Barmetteler) and chocolaterie (Merkur) AND chocolate (dark with hazelnut slab)

It's thanks to her that we didn't get lost in translation in the Saturday fare and local cheese sellers and antelope meat sellers and landed at the right places to buy some excellent cheese and chocolate.

Chas Barmettler with its fresh cheese pies and treasure troves of cheese was just the spot for a cheese addict like me.

We fell in love with the river, the fairytale architecture, and the wooden bridge which fire couldn't cow down. We started our visit to the city with a visit to the Picasso exhibition... and then things became prettier by the moment.

Sitting by the evening and sipping a cappuccino was an unparalleled high. Though it did get a bit too cold for me as the sun set late into the magical evenings.

I want to go back!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anniversaries and beginnings

Sitting here in muggy Mumbai it's hard to imagine that we were in Turkey a year back. We landed at Cappadoccia same day last year. We were in the amazing Museum Hotel, cave room with its own jacuzzi, Kainaz's gift to me for our anniversary. Wrote about it in The Mumbai Mirror. Here's the link to the article which came out recently.

And it's such a coincidence that I got my first ever cheque for writing today. A year after the day we landed at Cappadoccia. K has suggested that I keep it rather than encash it. I am in two minds. No amount is too small after all.

What would you do?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shiver me timbers ... Klein Matterhorn

We landed at Switzerland from the dusty plains of India. Our first thought was, 'when can we touch snow?'. We waited for a week at Montreux where we looked at the snow capped mountains from our hotel room. And then off we went to Zermatt. Zermatt is at the base of the Matterhorn Glacier. The Matterhorn is one of the most famous peaks of the Swiss Alps. And it is the peak on Toblerone packs.

We got a lovely view of the Matterhorn from our room at the lovely Hotel Christiana on the first morning. And we decided to set off in our quest for snow.

Bengalis and Parsis are not the most athletic of races. The Zermatt definition of 'mountaineering' was right up our street. Three cable cars and up at the glacier. The Swiss Rail pass didn't cover the cable cars but it got us a a fifty per cent discount on the overall price.

I took my first step on the glacier and was spell bound. The hazy mist, the snow, the icy might of the mountains, the chill that touched your bones ... and more importantly the fact that I kept slipping and couldn't stand still!

I soon got my bearings and began to enjoy the expereince.

Was thankful for each and every layer which seemed so incongruous when we bought them at Linking Road on a sunny afternoon. Especially at the Galier Palace.

But it was easy to understand why Switzerland is a favourite with honeymooning couples. I still stand by Goa and the bus ride with chickens though.

We won't forget the lovely cafe at the glacier. Surprisingly not a tourist trap unlike what one would expect of a shop at such a place. Souveniers and food were the same price at shops at terra firma. That's where K was breaking her head with the dumb the cell phone call centre person with her astronomical phone bill (that's her with the red bag). A call which was at ISD rates and not toll free!!!!

Where we had the best sphaggeti bolougnaise in the world.

And where I came and warmed myself over a cup of steaming cappuccino before we set back.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life before Seinfield .... Einstein Haus, Bern

K was very keen on checking out Einstein's house at Bern. After winding roads, helpful locals excited to know we were from Mumbai, trying to decipher maps, cobbled paths, parliaments, clock towers and waffle stalls we finally reached Einstein Haus. The house where Einstein said he came up with the idea of the Theory of Relativity.

We had never been to a house of a genius AND a Nobel prize winner before. Correction, we had made a trip to Rabindranath Tagore's Shanti Niketan University but that was a blink and you miss it trip with no good labelling, a problem with most Indian museums.

It was a high to write on the same writing stand that Einstein used. And the copywriter didn't waste the opportunity. We went his parlour. Though I was a bit disappointed that the Einstein's weren't there to receive us.

We enjoyed reading some of the writings over there which gave an insight into his life from both his and his first wife's perspective. Which is when K began to tell me about the rumour that it was actually the Missus who had though of the Theory of R!!!!! Women I tell you.

I loved his self deprecating humour (hence the Seinfield reference). And particularly the time when he said that he would have been a plumber if he could start his life again ... and a plumber in the U S who offered him a job on hearing that.

Related Posts with Thumbnails